Slowly Incorporating Submission

A couple of things have been on my mind lately, as a result of different conversations and photos and things.

First, I can’t stop thinking about chains, handcuffs, and cages. Rope is great, but it has been over a year since I’ve been bound tightly enough that I couldn’t escape. As a result, while I still love it, I think I’m comfortable with it. I still feel like I can escape. Metal bondage doesn’t allow for that, which is frightening but also appealing.

The more I think about D/s, the more I get nervous. In books, Dominants are great about sensing when a submissive is nervous or afraid and tailoring their approach. I’ve never met anyone who was that observant. I’ve never had a Dom comfort me or talk me into a submissive headspace.

If I’m going to submit to someone on a deeper level, I need to build trust. Everyone emphasizes trust, which is great, but how do you build trust other than giving it time? How does someone assert control in small ways to build that trust?

I’ve been trying to think about ways to do that. One, I think service is a great way to do this. Bitch make me a sammich isn’t really the hottest or best way to exchange power, but little requests/commands like that change focus. In the book I’ve been reading, the Dom forces his potential sub to make eye contact, to answer questions immediately and without hiding. In my mind, introducing rules early on would help. I think it’d be best to have vanilla sex before kinky sex (or at least, mostly vanilla – no toys/bondage, but power dynamics ok). That said, even before that, a couple can establish some sexual tension and D/s dynamics.

For example, when we spend time together, he can require I ensure my legs are spread a certain amount to be available to him. I can be relegated to the floor. Maybe he’d have me kneel until I ask to sit differently – ways of forcing me to ask him for something. In ways like that and others, he can force me to acknowledge my submission and the fact that with that comes communicating all my needs, comforts, etc. to him.

My inclination is to endure or suffer in silence. I don’t make a lot of noise during play, and I don’t like asking for help or depending on others. D/s is all about enabling a submissive to depend on her Dom for order. If I want a D/s dynamic to work, I need to have honesty/communication/vocalizing drilled in early on. Thankfully, those are things that can happen with less sex, so they can happen earlier on in a relationship.

Thing is, do I bring that up with a potential Dom? Do we sit down and have a conversation about how to build trust/control? I mean, really, wtf is the protocol here?

Someone I was talking to did bring up an interesting point about pride, though. I mentioned how begging is difficult for me because it makes me feel like others will view me as weak or needy (but also how it’s super hot). He asked if thinking of begging as a submissive act that shows how good a submissive I am would help. I think it would, actually. If I had a Dom who encouraged begging, who acknowledged it and praised me for doing it – even if not giving me whatever I’m begging for – I think it would be a helluva lot more doable on my end.

I’ll do a lot to please my partner. If begging pleases him, and he makes it a positive act and not a degrading one, then I think I could take pride in it. I think, too, it would help to know that asking isn’t futile. I will vocalize a lot more if I know it won’t be futile or punished, like it has been in other aspects of my life.

Why do I like being hit?

Someone asked me this today, and it made me think a lot on why I enjoy pain. I hadn’t visited the subject in a while, so it took some processing. Here’s my general thoughts on the matter.

I have sort of a love/hate relationship with pain, and it definitely depends on the purpose/context. Where did it come from? Probably, like my desire for submission, from some combination of things in my past that involved me having to maintain strict control over myself, my emotions, — too deep and not pertinent. The real question here is – Why do I choose to engage in behaviors that involve me receiving pain? A variety of reasons:

  1. Emotional release. I find it difficult to let go and cry sometimes, even when I really need to. Pain can provide an excuse to cry without feeling like I’m being irrational. It’s a catalyst, of sorts. I’ve found stingy pain gets me to this point much more quickly, but isn’t always as satisfying.
  2. Focus. I find it hard sometimes to stop thinking and just feel. Pain makes me think of only it, the person administering it, and what’s happening in the moment between us. That, in turn, allows me to just feel and enjoy things instead of over-thinking them. Additionally, if I’m really stressed or anxious about something, pain is something else I can’t help but focus on instead. (So is submitting in general, with or without pain.)
  3. Challenge. I like pushing myself, and seeing what my body can do.
  4. Fun (ie sexy) endorphins. Pain in certain places, from certain implements, with certain people can get me off in and of itself. Namely, thuddy pain in the ass region with someone I am attracted to, or any type of pain to the nipples with someone I’m attracted to, or rough body play/biting with someone I’m attracted to (notice the trend there?).
  5. Control. Pain is a physical manifestation of power exchange. Every spank can reemphasize that I am submitting to this person, that I am letting them have control over me, that I trust them not to harm me and to stop if need be. It hurts, but I’m letting them do so because it pleases them, which satisfies a deeper mental submissive desire on my end. If they enjoy hurting me, then I’ll get off on it all the more.

I am not an exhibitionist at all. I will go to public events when I know many people going in order to hang out with friends, to take a class, to play with specific equipment, or for the safety element with a newer partner. When I first got involved in the DC scene, I was much more open to casual/pick-up play, so I went out a lot. I learned quickly though that most of my motivations for play stem from deeper desires – D/s, personal expression, sexual – and I’m not very comfortable doing those things with strangers or in public. Because of that, I think 2 and 3 above are the only motivations that ever really came out in the public-playspace type setting. Maybe 4, in rarer instances.

Since that realization, I’ve only played with S&m things a handful of times. (This is also because things like 1 and 5 require much deeper trust and people who are willing to take care of what they break down, which is harder to find and do in shorter instances or with people you’re not in an ongoing relationship with.) All of the above still applies, I’ve just been much choosier in how I engage in those activities.

8/8 Quit Playing Games With My Heart

Yes, I just quoted a Backstreet Boys song…deal with it.

Game playing in the romantic world has come up more than once in my life lately, and it kind of took me by surprise. In the universe’s (The Universe has a twitter, btw) typical fashion, it even showed up in my webcomics – see today’s Questionable Content post.

I guess on some level, you could say that all the so-called rules we follow in the dating world are playing games, because they aren’t us acting entirely on intuition. By this I mean things like waiting a few days to call someone after getting their number, not texting back immediately, not always being available during the initial time you’re asked out for, texting the morning after if you had a good time, etc. In my (potentially naïve) view, though, playing games has always been a negative thing, and has always been something that people do intentionally. It’s playing hard to get or acting uninterested in order to attract someone.

I have hidden my interest in men before, but usually because I was afraid of rejection and I wanted to judge their interest first. I realize now that is the same thing as playing a game because it isn’t being direct and forthright with your feelings. I’ve also come to realize that sometimes games aren’t all negative, but are natural. I didn’t intentionally think to play hard to get. I don’t lead people on or tease them on purpose. If I’ve ever done so, it’s been a measure of my own uncertainty or insecurity in that particular situation.

I’ve basically been a bit of a hypocrite. I make a big deal about owning how you feel and being honest, but when it comes down to it, I’m not that blunt. When asked for an opinion or asked how I feel, I will be unfailingly honest. I may even overshare and give way too much information. That said, I tend to not volunteer information. In the past, in all situations – with friends, family, romantic partners – volunteering emotional information has more often than not ended very poorly. It’s a trust thing. If someone has asked something, I trust they care about the answer and I am ok making myself vulnerable because they did so by asking. It’s rare for me to trust others enough to become vulnerable with them on my own initiative, and that is where I’ve been “playing games.”

I don’t know if how I act is really game playing, I just know that I need to be more direct. I’ve known this for a while, but I’m still working on acting on it. I’ve gotten better recently in a series of interactions in the kinky and vanilla world, in terms of play and dating, but I still have a ways to go. I was taken aback a bit this weekend, though, when someone suggested that I was playing games, when in my mind, I was just uncertain of his interest and of how far I was willing to go with him. I didn’t intend to give mixed messages, and I cleared it up right away. On a similar note, when playing a game that asked “what would make an unattractive person appealing,” one thing brought up was directness about sexual interest. I don’t think I’d fit in the unattractive persons group, but it’s interesting to hear from others how directness is admired rather than seen as off-putting.

Now to go on building myself up and forcing myself to be more direct. Putting my money where my mouth is can be hard.

Day 13, 30 Days of Kink

Day 13: Explain as best you can what the appeal of kink/BDSM is to you? Why are you drawn to what you’re drawn to?

Kink and BDSM appeal to me for multiple reasons; I’ll walk through them each briefly.

First, the community around kink, or “the scene,” is incredible. There are so many welcoming, friendly, open-minded people who are dedicated to pursuing their passions, living true to themselves, trying new things, and enjoying life to the fullest. These are all things that are paramount in how I choose to live my life, and so there is a certain kinship amongst these kinky people. I’ve never been anywhere else where I could speak so openly about such personal things without feeling judged for it. Moreover, the kinky community makes living in such a large city feel like a small town, and I enjoy that. Other “pre-built” communities such as religious groups or book clubs are great and some may be comparable, but the community aspect of kink is still a huge draw for me.

Next, kink/BDSM is largely about pursuit of peace and pursuit of pleasure. When I’m bottoming or submitting to someone, when I’m crying out from the pain or reveling in bondage, I get great peace. I am able to center myself, focus, and relax. I don’t have to worry about the logistics or anyone other than my partner. I don’t have to control everything. It’s hard for me trust people and surrender control, but in this scene it is such a verbalized, negotiated exchange that I am able to do so, and that surrender is astoundingly gratifying. Moreover, I get off on a lot of the things I do in the kinky world. Being dominated is hot. Pain can be hot. I also find pleasure in the “oooh toys, fun!” type of way. I have a genuinely good time when I’m doing kink stuff or hanging out with kinky people, and that appeals to me.

Kink appeals because of the ability to strengthen relationships. The amount of communication and trust needed to make all of this work in a SSC way surpasses any in my past vanilla experiences, and I like that. There is more intimacy. The focus on sex usually results in more sexual freedom, experimentation, and passion in the relationship which also appeals.

The kinky community allows me to push my limits. I love adventure, challenges, and trying new things. I like to experience as much as I can. I am relatively competitive, and kind of stubborn. I enjoy being able to test my endurance and pain tolerance, to explore unknown territories. BDSM is just one more avenue for me to let this part of my personality reign free.

The psychological and sociological influences and impact fascinate me, and that curiosity is satisfied by participating in kink. I’m kind of a nosy person (this blog has inquisitive in the title for a reason), and I like learning. I like learning about other people, their kink and their sex lives, why they do what they do, etc. I like seeing other people have fun, and in doing so learning things to make my life even fuller. I’m curious. I want to know as much as possible about kink and BDSM because of what it means to individuals, and because of what it means as part of society and our culture.

There may be more than that, but for now this is what I can think of. I’m sure I’ll edit/update later.

Now, as for why I am drawn to the things I am drawn to?

I’m a control freak (that hates being in control) who likes organized social activities, with a high sex drive and a very curious and adventurous nature…If I had to guess, I’d say all of the above stems from those parts of my personality.

Want to play with me?

If you want to play with me, below are some things that you should know. If I don’t know you/that’s not your goal, there really is absolutely no point in continuing to read this post.

updated 2/20/12, original 3/28/11

It’s important that I know I’m respected by you, despite my reactions and what you do to me. I won’t open up or really relax if I’m worried about you judging me.

I must respect you, trust you, and know that you aren’t creepy. Knowing other people who know you, seeing you out and about in the community, etc. are things that aid in this.

I have to know that you are enjoying yourself. If I think you’re doing things purely because I want them, and not because you enjoy doing them, I feel guilty and like I’m a burden.

If our play involves anything beyond rope practice in a public space/learning environment, I need to have some sort of connection with you. I’m not ok with being played with purely because I’m available, and I don’t appreciate being made to feel like that. Negotiating a scene, checking in, asking before touching me sexually if we’ve never played that way before, talking to me a bit before/after, etc. are all little ways to make something more intimate and less booty call-esque. Basically, treat me like a human being when interacting with me, and I need to actually like you as a human being to do anything.

I want my limits pushed. I enjoy seeing how much I can take, what positions I can contort myself into. I am competitive and relatively stubborn, and this falls into it.  While it not easy for me to beg or safeword, if it is truly too much for me I will do so.

If I’m uncontrollably shaking or shuddering (whether it be after intense pain play or anything else), it’s usually in a very good way. Don’t worry.

I react very strongly to play, but often in non-verbal ways. As I get more comfortable with you and my surroundings, I can get more vocal should that be seen as a good thing. If my lack of noise leaves you uncertain as to my reaction, ask, and I will blushingly get all flustered, but I will be perfectly honest. In the meantime, see the above comment about shuddering. My breathing will also change as I enjoy things more.

My neck, ears, scalp/hair are extraordinarily sensitive. My neck is also very ticklish. There is a fine, fine line between tickling and amazingly enjoyable caressing of my neck, but please don’t let that keep you from touching that area.

I enjoy struggling and being fought down in the takedown kind of way. Call it my inner cave-woman. Basically, I like knowing I can’t win. Similarly, I like being in bondage that I can’t escape – if I can struggle and not get out (whether it be rope or your arms), that pushes all of my buttons.

I am a bit of a snarky, sarcastic brat. Comes with the personality. That said, when I find (or am informed of) a boundary, I respect it.

It’s highly likely that I will want to move slower on sexual things than other people you play with, especially relative to the rest of the kinky community. I’m very choosy with who and how I sexually interact with others.

I am not an exhibitionist. I can sometimes enjoy doing things in public if it’s a skill I’ve developed well (showing flexibility in a tie, etc.), but in general I’ve never gotten past feeling like things that make me respond sexually or involve full naked-ness should be private. That said, I can and do participate in kinky play in public as it tends to be the safest space for a single female bottom to do so. I don’t, however, tend to get very sexual if it’s sexual at all in those public situations.

I have varying levels of climax, and can often get full satisfaction from a series of small shuddering climaxes. I don’t need an earth-shattering, scream-inducing orgasm to enjoy myself. In general, I prefer that my orgasm not necessarily be the end-goal of a scene, especially if the scene is in a space that is at all public. Call it performance anxiety, see above thing on exhibitionism.

I’m open to non-sexual kinky play with select females. This is something I’d be most comfortable with if I was interacting with a couple, rather than with a female one-on-one.